Before you complete a statutory declaration
Updated: 13 December 2022
Temporary changes to execution and witnessing
Temporary changes have been made to the law, through the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Modifications—Statutory Declarations and Notices of Intention to Marry) Determination 2021. These changes allow Commonwealth statutory declarations to be completed and witnessed electronically. This means you can use an electronic signature to make a Commonwealth statutory declaration. You can also get it witnessed using audio visual technology. These changes are in place until 31 December 2023. Visit How to complete a statutory declaration to find out more.
The Commonwealth, states and territories all have different statutory declarations. We are responsible for and can help with Commonwealth statutory declarations.
A statutory declaration is a legal document that contains a written statement about something that is true. It must be witnessed by an approved witness.
Why you would need a statutory declaration
A statutory declaration is a statement of fact(s) that you declare to be true. It can be used as evidence.
You may need a statutory declaration for many reasons, such as:
- confirming your personal details
- financial matters
- health matters
- evidence for sick leave
If you make a false statement on purpose, you can be charged with an offence.
Difference between a statutory declaration and an affidavit
A statutory declaration and an affidavit are both written statements of fact.
However, an affidavit is used as evidence in court. You confirm it by oath or affirmation.
If you need an affidavit, contact the court involved in your legal matter.
If you're not sure if you need a statutory declaration or an affidavit, you can:
- ask the person or organisation that requested it from you
- get legal advice
Types of statutory declarations
There are Commonwealth and state and territory statutory declarations.
You need a Commonwealth statutory declaration if your matter relates to:
- the Commonwealth
- the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
- some smaller territories
We give general information about Commonwealth statutory declarations. But we cannot give specific legal advice.
To get a statutory declaration for your state or territory, search online for:
- statutory declarations in your state or territory
- the Department of Justice or Attorney-General in your state or territory
Form 888 statutory declarations
Form 888 statutory declarations are used for Partner or Prospective Marriage visa applications. We are not responsible for, and cannot provide any information about, Form 888 statutory declarations.
Form 888 statutory declarations are managed by the Department of Home Affairs.
If you have questions about a Form 888 statutory declaration or visa applications you should contact the Department of Home Affairs.
Who can make a Commonwealth statutory declaration
Any person can make a statutory declaration, including:
Some organisations may not accept a statutory declaration from a person under 18 years old.
Companies cannot make a statutory declaration, but a person in the organisation can.
Get help to complete your statutory declaration.
What happens if you make a false statement
If you make a false statement in a statutory declaration on purpose, you can be charged with a criminal offence. You could be imprisoned for up to 4 years.
If you are concerned about a false statutory declaration, contact the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
What happens if your statutory declaration has been incorrectly witnessed
If your statutory declaration is witnessed by someone who is not an approved witness then it is invalid. If you are concerned that your statutory declaration has been incorrectly witnessed, contact the organisation who requested it.
However, if you are concerned that an approved witness has falsely witnessed a statutory declaration, you should contact the:
- organisation who requested the statutory declaration
- peak body for the organisation or profession the person works in
- Australian Federal Police
Get more information
If you have questions that are not answered on this page, email us. You will need to allow up to 28 days for a response.
Remember we cannot give you legal advice about statutory declarations.
For more information or assistance with Commonwealth statutory declarations you can email email@example.com.